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ICE License-Plate Tracking Plan Withdrawn Amid Outcry About Privacy

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the on-second-thought dept.

United States 152

An anonymous reader writes "Homeland security officials on Wednesday abruptly shelved a proposal to build a national database of license-plate scans after criticism from privacy advocates. The proposal, which had been posted online last week by the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, sought a contractor who could establish a searchable database of license plates, with the times and locations where they were spotted by traffic cameras and other sources. But in a statement late Wednesday, the department announced a reversal. 'The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been canceled,' said spokeswoman Gillian Christensen. 'While we continue to support a range of technologies to help meet our law enforcement mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.'"

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Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293863)

And as such, your expectation of privacy on public roadways should be zero. Legally, I'm pretty sure if they wanted to push this issue there is nothing wrong with it.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293941)

Driving may be a priveledge. Privacy is a right.

The former can be used to infringe upon the latter.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (4, Funny)

dandaman32 (1056054) | about 6 months ago | (#46293975)

Actually, driving is neither a privelege nor a priveledge. It's a privilege.

An alternate suggestion, much cheaper to implement (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 6 months ago | (#46295375)

You know, if ICE is wanting to track or apprehend illegal aliens in the US, they could save the money on such a widespread and expensive system...and just send agents to watch in front of the various Home Depots and Lowe's stores, and grab all the illegals there every morning lookng for cash day jobs.

They are easy to spot for goodness sake, no need for tracking license plates.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293991)

It is a right to be able to move freely from point A to point B without being tracked. It is a privilege to be able to drive between those points instead of having to walk or ride horseback. The privilege of driving does not negate the right to privacy because of the mode of transportation.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294021)

No, it's because you're doing it on a government owned highway. Drive around all you want on your own property; you don't even need a license plate for that.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294121)

And your point is that just because a government made the roads that that gives them the right to track where you go when you use those roads? The logic doesn't follow. I still maintain that while driving a vehicle is a privilege that still doesn't negate privacy as a right.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46294123)

Your right to privacy doesn't automatically completely disappear because you're on government property. If you go to a public park, you still have a right against unreasonable search and seizure. A cop can't tell you to empty your pockets or open the trunk of your car just because he feels like it and you happen to be on government property. Admittedly "stop and frisk" has made a mockery of that, but it used to apply before they made a mockery of the 4th Amendment.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294157)

Nice straw man. The false equivalence between tracking someone's location while they are in public and illegal search and seizure makes your comment hardly worth replying to. Are you suggesting that when you are in a public park, being filmed by security cameras is a violation of your 4th amendment rights?

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46294313)

The false equivalence between tracking someone's location while they are in public and illegal search and seizure makes your comment hardly worth replying to.

It's not false equivalence, it's perfectly in line with the SCOTUS ruling that "tracking someone's location" constitutes a search. [washingtonpost.com]

Are you suggesting that when you are in a public park, being filmed by security cameras is a violation of your 4th amendment rights?

Now, you want to talk about false equivalence...

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46294549)

Are you suggesting that when you are in a public park, being filmed by security cameras is a violation of your 4th amendment rights?

If the information from those cameras is subject to techniques like automatic recognition, and used to track people who are not under any reasonable suspicion, then yes. To say otherwise is to play the government's apologist, looking for any technicality that can be used to work around the Bill of Rights. That's how a criminal defense lawyer works, because a defendant has to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and can only be subject to laws that are much more specific than the Bill of Rights. That's not how the Bill of Rights should be interpreted, and it wasn't until the Supreme Court was reduced to a bunch of government lickspittles like yourself.

By your thinking government eavesdropping on phone calls shouldn't require a warrant because a phone call isn't "persons, houses, papers, [or] effects". Thankfully at one time we had a Supreme Court that understood that the 18th century framers of the Constitution couldn't possible have foreseen telephones, let alone automatic recognition and computerized databases. As such the court made reasonable interpretations of how our inalienable rights applied to post-18th century technology.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (-1, Troll)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 6 months ago | (#46294335)

Your right to privacy doesn't automatically completely disappear because you're on government property. If you go to a public park, you still have a right against unreasonable search and seizure. A cop can't tell you to empty your pockets or open the trunk of your car just because he feels like it and you happen to be on government property. Admittedly "stop and frisk" has made a mockery of that, but it used to apply before they made a mockery of the 4th Amendment.

Stop waving the constitution in people's faces, it's just a stupid piece of paper.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294143)

The American People own highway. They can damn well drive on the thing any time they like you idiot.'
Unless you somehow now think that corporations are the basis of our government or some other such nonsense.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46294165)

No, it's because you're doing it on a government owned highway.

The same argument could be applied to walking on a government owned sidewalk.

No sir. (3, Informative)

fishthegeek (943099) | about 6 months ago | (#46294369)

The governement does not own the highway, the public owns the highway in common. The government is nothing more than a steward of the public's property and if the public decides to change that they certainly may. As a matter of fact the public doesn't need the governments consent to change how our highways are managed either; the public can vote and make it happen.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 6 months ago | (#46294901)

And the government is owned by us. Work you way out of that one.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46295189)

The "government" does not "own" anything-- we the people own it-- ug-- what a misconception. Who paid for it? Not "the government" because that have NO money. We the people paid for it with our money. Sheesh. That's worse than an ostrich wearing blinders.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 6 months ago | (#46294423)

A simple solution would be to have license plate scanners which check the legality of the license. If it's valid, they don't log it. If it's fake or duplicated, they tag it / photograph the car & driver / alert the cop waiting down the road. Similar to what automated speed traps already do: they ignore you if you drive below the speed limit.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46294465)

A simple solution would be to get rid of this garbage entirely.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 6 months ago | (#46294581)

A simple solution would be to have license plate scanners which check the legality of the license. If it's valid, they don't log it. If it's fake or duplicated, they tag it / photograph the car & driver / alert the cop waiting down the road. Similar to what automated speed traps already do: they ignore you if you drive below the speed limit.

That solution only works if the goal of gathering license plates is to find outdated registrations. Since that is not the (primary) goal, the solution won't work for the government's needs.

Anybody who thinks they really decided not to pursue this program is naive. Because of the public outcry, they pulled the public proposal but they will simply have to find the contractor and hire him in secret now. They are not going to abandon this program, they are just going to hide it better.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

andy_spoo (2653245) | about 6 months ago | (#46294015)

It already happens in the UK. I can't say it's ever bothered me. If you were a criminal, you'd likely have false plates anyway, so it's probably not that useful.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46294149)

It doesn't bother you because you're only aware of it in an abstract sense. I've got a proposal. Let the government track people all they want, as long as they periodically send people the government's records of where they've been. You'd soon see outrage of historic proportions.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (2)

dhjdhj (1355079) | about 6 months ago | (#46293989)

Is walking a privilege too? If you were walking somewhere and cameras were tracking you throughout, I think you'd be very uncomfortable. Don't see that being inside a car should change anything.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294199)

You have a right in the US to travel unhindered [wikipedia.org] , but nothing here is hindering that right. Driving on the public roadways in a privilege. I'm not sure where walking on the public sidewalks stands as a privilege or a right, but a court can definitely tell you that you are not allowed to walk in a certain area [wikipedia.org] (100 meters from your ex's home or work place, for example). You are also already legally filmed as you walk about various public areas [wikipedia.org] . The outrage so far has been minimal.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294623)

You don't know what you're talking about.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46294659)

Government lickspittle AC's always make such eloquent and informative rebuttals.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (3, Informative)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#46294055)

I am so fucking tired of this mantra.

Being able to practicably exercise your mobility rights is a privilege? Being able to practicably exercise your right to live, work and be a contributing member of society is a privilege? Until we have completely ubiquitous transportation, either by public transit or autonomous cars, driving needs to be a right.

What good are your other rights if they are subject to revokable privileges?

(p.s. on a tangential note, driving also ought to be ingrained as a more responsible endeavor than most people believe it to be, not just that annoying thing they have to do between A and B. Our driver training standards in North America are laughably pathetic... you may die of shock when you learn about the years of continual training required in countries where they take driving seriously)

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294127)

TRAVELING wherever you want is a RIGHT. Driving is only a "privilege" so much as you OPERATING the vehicle. This does not verify your "privileges" in any way. Scanning plates infringes on your RIGHT to operate your vehicle legally wherever you want. The RIGHT of free travel between the states is guaranteed in the constitution.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46294211)

The RIGHT of free travel between the states is guaranteed in the constitution.

Where? Seriously. I believe that it is a basic right, and in the 19th century and before was treated as such (there are several SCOTUS rulings that dealt with that). It may have been handled under a longstanding common law right and/or the 9th Amendment, but it's not specifically enumerated. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46294343)

The RIGHT of free travel between the states is guaranteed in the constitution.

Where?

Here [wikipedia.org] .

Unless the state you live in has a law against free travel, of course. In which case I recommend moving to a different one ASAP, if they'll let you.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 months ago | (#46295013)

Yes, the 10th Ammendment says that you can move from state to state. But it doesn't say that everyone you pass has to close their eyes and pretend not to see or recognize you. Heck, I can even go home and tell my wife, "You know, I saw CanHasDIY in the park today." Or to go even further, "I was taking pictures in the park today. Is that CanHasDIY?" None of those things restricts your movement, it just means you don't turn invisible when you're in public unless you're somewhere that you can reasonably expect a "right to privacy" (e.g. using a public toilet, not driving across a bridge.)

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46295285)

Yes, the 10th Ammendment says that you can move from state to state. But it doesn't say that everyone you pass has to close their eyes and pretend not to see or recognize you. Heck, I can even go home and tell my wife, "You know, I saw CanHasDIY in the park today." Or to go even further, "I was taking pictures in the park today. Is that CanHasDIY?" None of those things restricts your movement, it just means you don't turn invisible when you're in public unless you're somewhere that you can reasonably expect a "right to privacy" (e.g. using a public toilet, not driving across a bridge.)

False equivalence.

You are not the government, and thus, the Constitution does not specifically restrict your rights in regard to surveillance of other citizens; however, many states and municipalities have anti-stalking laws that do cover such activities.

Which has nothing to do with the right of free travel, FYI.

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46294731)

TRAVELING wherever you want is a RIGHT. Driving is only a "privilege" so much as you OPERATING the vehicle.

The US Government permitted the auto companies to purchase profitable and well-used public transportation companies and shut them down to increase demand for their product. Public transportation in the USA has never recovered. There are maybe two US cities with useful public transportation. When I lived in SF I could drive for fifteen minutes including parking or I could take two buses and the Muni for over an hour, if I wanted to get to work. I could walk there as quickly; I did, once. But SF is hilly and I was fat and asthmatic. Well, maybe I still am fat, but I'm now less fat. Definitely still asthmatic.

Moral is, if you want to be a functional citizen of the USA, you need a car. How can driving not be a right when government hasn't protected our ability to function without one?

Re: Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 6 months ago | (#46295053)

Could you please provide a link for your assertion?

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 6 months ago | (#46295025)

Being able to practicably exercise your right to live, work and be a contributing member of society is a privilege?

Whenever it involves operating deadly machinery in the presence of others, yes, society needs to be careful about granting that privilege.

Until we have completely ubiquitous transportation, either by public transit or autonomous cars, driving needs to be a right.

I agree, driving not-so-deadly machinery such as bicycles [wikipedia.org] needs to be a right. Unfortunately, that right has been taken away [npr.org] in certain areas.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46295373)

The problem with having driving as a right is that you could use that to argue against licenses, laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, any sort of age restrictions and laws against dangerous driving. Sure you could charge the guy who mowed down a family of four whilst being so drunk he couldn't read the dashboard with murder but that doesn't change the fact that he irrevocably violated the rights of the family to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, once he is out of jail, he can pop down to the local bar, get plastered in celebration and then go jump in his car again.

You could then argue that any sort of restrictions on aviation are unlawful (if driving as a means of transport is a right then how can flying as a means of transport not be?). Would you feel safe if anyone of any age and sobriety could jump in a plane and fly anywhere they wanted?

Taking this even further but in another direction, you can assert that driving is a privilege because it is too easy for someone driving to irrevocably deny someone else's rights. Using that assertion, you can argue that firearm ownership should be a privilege and not a right seeing as how you can quite easily and irrevocably deny someone's rights using that firearm. And that assertion would be correct for the most part, how many states do not have a background check, mandatory safety classes and whatnot to purchase a firearm?

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46294347)

Privacy is a right. And the mere fact that something is unnecessary does not mean you give the government consent to violate your rights, which you can't do, anyway. Also, keep in mind that this is about the kind of privacy that prevents the government from using surveillance technology to keep tabs on you in public places, not the kind that ensures that no one can see you in public places; the latter doesn't exist, but the former damn well should.

Using your logic, the TSA is 100% okay. They actually used logic along those lines to justify it.

driving is not a privilege, it's a right (3, Interesting)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46294377)

I don't know where this "driving is a privilege" nonsense comes from. If "driving is a privilege", why not walking or breathing? They are all activities people engage in while on public lands. Unless there is a compelling public interest, government has no authority to restrict what we do on public lands; there simply is no constitutional basis for it. The restrictions we impose on driving needed to be justified by safety and environmental concerns.

But you're right: you have no expectation of privacy on public roadways. That means any private party can, if they so choose, collect your license plate information and follow you around. But the government is not a private party; it is more restricted in what it can and should be allowed to do. Police can't just follow you around without cause, and they shouldn't be allowed to collect license plate information without cause either.

Re:driving is not a privilege, it's a right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294507)

Unless there is a compelling public interest

And if the government has the constitutional authority to do what it wants to do.

Re:driving is not a privilege, it's a right (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 6 months ago | (#46295019)

Driving is a privilege because you are in control of a half ton or more missile. You are de facto lethal.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 6 months ago | (#46294537)

Federally speaking, driving is a right. States district that right in the interests of society to prevent accidents from people who should not be allowed to drive. But states don't have to. I can't imagine why they wouldn't, but in some future 57th state, they may impose no restrictions on driving.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46295037)

And as such, your expectation of privacy on public roadways should be zero. Legally, I'm pretty sure if they wanted to push this issue there is nothing wrong with it.

That's your opinion.

Try to stop me from driving and ALL your privileges will be revoked.

Re:Driving is a privelege, not a right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46295283)

No, driving is not a privilege. Anything paid for and built by the taxpayers can rightfully be used by the taxpayers. It is and can never be a "privilege" to use something you paid for and own.

Driving on public roads is a right. If you violate the rules regarding the use of those roads - rules which exist to make sure everyone can excercise their right - you can lose you right to use the roads, yes.

Just like if you hit someone in the face when youre walking down the street - you can then (temporarily) lose your right to walk down the street - this is not proof that walking down the street is a "privilege" you are being granted.

Withdrawn (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 6 months ago | (#46293869)

Yeah right, withdrawn. To be resubmitted covertly as something else, hopefully covered by "national security". Go on, celebrate your "victory".

Re:Withdrawn (3, Insightful)

RocketChild (1397411) | about 6 months ago | (#46293881)

Withdrawn for more tweaking to get stuffed into a massive PATRIOT 2 bill down the road. Just like the thousand other 'proposals' that were done in the 80's and 90's that were withdrawn and suddenly found in a bill that was 10,000 pages long and put together in a matter of hours to be passed without question.

Re:Withdrawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293901)

make it in house or buy ready made solution that avoids unpleasant questions. You can also make a secret bid and tell the bidders to keep the mouth shut. All is possible.

With time I think US reminds more and more all the regimes that gather in OPEC. Considering all the shell gas & oil I think US could be a clear leader there. They all love democracy, human rights and privacy as long as it concerns their own arses. I guess the fight is lost now.

Re:Withdrawn (-1, Troll)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about 6 months ago | (#46294309)

Scanning of plates is nothing new. As of the mid-2K's, there was software that would use a police car mounted camera to read plates, run it, and determine if there are any wants and warrants related to the vehicle. I, personally, know of several departments in other states that would also do this in parking lots at malls and shopping centers and run EVERY plate. Their CJIS laws permitted this within their states.

Parking authorities routinely use this technology to detect parking scofflaws. The little trucks drive slowly along a road and scan the plates of parked cars.

EZPass can be used to track individual vehicles (well, the tags).

AEI Tags are mounted on railcars (they are REALLY big RFID tags) to track those assets as they move. Most railcars are not owned by individual railroads - they come from a federally managed pool.

You phone has a SIMICCID or equivalent that is transmitted to a cell tower. Between the SIMICCID and built in GPS/AGPS chips, it's possible to locate and track a single phone even among a crowd of people. This is used to track "burner" phones back to their point of origin when used to detonate bombs in certain hostile regions. Yes, I know this for a fact.

E911 is built into EVERY modern phone and can pinpoint a cellphone within meters. You have to smash the phone to disable this feature - you can't turn it off. In some cases, turning off or taking the battery out won't work as there is a battery backup in the phone keeping it "alive".

Keep in mind, driving on public roads is a privilege - not a right. Public Safety trumps privacy in public places. Your plates are visible. This is unlike GPS tracking devices on vehicles which DO require a warrant and probable cause to install and activate. Surveillance crews do not a warrant to track you visually.

What you do in your bedroom (short of a violent crime) is private.

This initiative has been delayed simply because of the current outrage of what people perceive to be violations of their privacy. It will be back.

Re: Withdrawn (2, Informative)

dmitrygr (736758) | about 6 months ago | (#46294365)

There is no battery "keeping it alive". Source: I work and worked in places that design and make modern cell phones.

Re:Withdrawn (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46294383)

Keep in mind, driving on public roads is a privilege - not a right. Public Safety trumps privacy in public places.

Bullshit. You shouldn't be living in "the land of the free and the home of the brave" if you think that doing something that's not strictly necessary means the government can violate your rights or privacy. I'm sure you love the TSA, which was justified based on similar reasoning (That you choose to go into the airport and that it's not necessary, so being molested by the government is okay.).

And yes, privacy is at stake, and yes, people *do* have some degree of privacy even in public places. In your mind, you need to separate the right to not have people see you in public places (nonexistent) with the right to not be recorded by government surveillance equipment in public places (a damn good idea).

The more you support ubiquitous surveillance, the more you support tyranny. Blabbering about how it's "nothing new" does not make it okay in the least.

Re:Withdrawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294397)

Parking authorities routinely use this technology to detect parking scofflaws.

Do they detect scallywags and ruffians too?

In other words, we will subcontract the contract (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293877)

That way no one will get upset when we hire a company to magically receive license plate information from all the various authorities and deliver that data to us. Everyone wins!

Inside Cisco's eavesdropping apparatus (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293885)

OLD ARTICLE but it still RINGS TRUE today!

Perspective: Inside Cisco's eavesdropping apparatus

April 21, 2003 4:00 AM PDT

http://news.cnet.com/2010-1071... [cnet.com]

By Declan McCullagh

        "Cisco Systems has created a more efficient and targeted way for police and intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on people whose Internet service provider uses their company's routers.

        The company recently published a proposal that describes how it plans to embed "lawful interception" capability into its products. Among the highlights: Eavesdropping "must be undetectable," and multiple police agencies conducting simultaneous wiretaps must not learn of one another. If an Internet provider uses encryption to preserve its customers' privacy and has access to the encryption keys, it must turn over the intercepted communications to police in a descrambled form.

        Cisco's decision to begin offering "lawful interception" capability as an option to its customers could turn out to be either good or bad news for privacy.

        Because Cisco's routers currently aren't designed to target an individual, it's easy for an Internet service provider (ISP) to comply with a police request today by turning over all the traffic that flows through a router or switch. Cisco's "lawful interception" capability thus might help limit the amount of data that gets scooped up in the process.

        On the other hand, the argument that it hinders privacy goes like this: By making wiretapping more efficient, Cisco will permit governments in other countries--where court oversight of police eavesdropping is even more limited than in the United States--snoop on far more communications than they could have otherwise.

        Marc Rotenberg, head of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says: "I don't see why the technical community should hardwire surveillance standards and not also hardwire accountability standards like audit logs and public reporting. The laws that permit 'lawful interception' typically incorporate both components--the (interception) authority and the means of oversight--but the (Cisco) implementation seems to have only the surveillance component. That is no guarantee that the authority will be used in a 'lawful' manner."

        U.S. history provides many examples of government and police agencies conducting illegal wiretaps. The FBI unlawfully spied on Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., feminists, gay rights leaders and Catholic priests. During its dark days, the bureau used secret files and hidden microphones to blackmail the Kennedy brothers, sway the Supreme Court and influence presidential elections. Cisco's Internet draft may be titled "lawful interception," but there's no guarantee that the capability will always be used legally.

        Still, if you don't like Cisco's decision, remember that they're not the ones doing the snooping. Cisco is responding to its customers' requests, and if they don't, other hardware vendors will.

        Cisco's Internet draft may be titled "lawful interception," but there's no guarantee that the capability will always be used legally.

        If you're looking for someone to blame, consider Attorney General John Ashcroft, who asked for and received sweeping surveillance powers in the USA Patriot Act, along with your elected representatives in Congress, who gave those powers to him with virtually no debate.

        I talked with Fred Baker, a Cisco fellow and former chairman of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), about his work on the "lawful interception" draft.

        Q: Why did Cisco decide to build "lawful interception" into its products? What prompted this?
        A: Cisco's customers, not just in United States but in many countries, are finding themselves served with subpoenas to mandate lawful intercept functionality. Cisco received requests from its customers for this capability.

        When I found out about the project, I asked to be involved because I wanted to ensure that it was done in a manner that was as close to balanced as I could get. From an engineering perspective, the easiest thing is to give everything to law enforcement and let them sort it out. But I wanted to do better than that.

        When was that?
        The actual development of this document started probably seven to eight months ago.

        What was the reaction of the Internet community and the IETF after you released the draft?
        I've seen very little reaction so far. We have been contacted by Verisign, with which we had an NDA relationship. They said, "We'd like to work with you on this." That's about all we've had. John Gilmore (of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) posted comments to an IETF mailing list. He wanted to ensure that the capability would be as difficult to use as possible.

        When will Cisco's customers be able to buy "lawful interception" products or an upgrade?
        We haven't yet announced anything. Any product that a service provider is likely to purchase will have an option to provide lawful interception. That's not for all of our products but for a fairly broad subset.

        We're in the process of doing early field trials on that capability. In most cases it's a software upgrade. What we're doing is putting the capability in a separate image so you know what you're getting when you get it. Under U.S. law, if you have that ability, you could be required to use it. Our service provider customers have asked us not to put it in the standard image, so that they can't be forced to use it.

        How much will it cost?
        We haven't announced that. There was some discussion at some point about putting in a nuisance fee.

        What percentage of your customers who have asked for "lawful interception" capability are within the United States?
        We have service provider customers in a number of countries that have asked us for it. Some have been more insistent than others.

        Do you have any moral problems with helping to make surveillance technology more efficient?
        I have some moral and ethical issues, but I think quite frankly that the place to argue this is in Congress and in the courtroom, not a service provider's machine room when he's staring down the barrel of a subpoena.

        There are two sides. One is that Cisco as a company needs to let its customers abide by the law. The other is the moral and ethical issues. There are two very separate questions.

        The current draft does not include an audit trail. Could you do that by having your equipment digitally sign a file that says who's been intercepted and for how long? That could be turned over to a judge. It could indicate whether the cops were or weren't staying within the bounds of the law.
        I'm not entirely sure that the machine we're looking at could make that assurance... In fact, the way lawful interception works, a warrant comes out saying, "We want to look at a person." That's the way it works in Europe, the United States, Australia and in other western countries. The quest then becomes figuring out which equipment a person is reasonably likely to use, and it becomes law enforcement's responsibility to discard any information that's irrelevant to the warrant. That kind of a thing would probably be maintained on the mediation device.

        Who controls the mediation device?
        The Internet provider. The mediation device picks out the subset that relates to a particular warrant.

        A few years ago (in RFC 2804) the IETF rejected the idea of building eavesdropping capability into Internet protocols. The FBI supported the idea, but the IETF said, no way. You were chair of the IETF at the time. How do you reconcile your proposal with the decision made then?
        I thought that what the IETF decided to do was actually the right thing to decide. What it said is that the IETF would not modify protocols that were designed for some other purpose in order to support lawful interception.

        Will you discuss this at the next IETF meeting in Austria in July?
        We're hoping for community review. If people see any problems with what we're doing on a technical level, we're all ears. We want to produce the best possible capability in terms of security and the capability required.

        Have you had requests for this capability, directly or indirectly, from government agencies?
        Yes and no. We got the request from our customers. The laws relate to the ISPs, which are our customers. Certainly, if we get a request from our customers that we can't support, there are penalties that accrue.

        We've had direct contact with the FBI and other agencies. When I was in Holland I (spoke at a conference with the head of the equivalent of the country's Central Intelligence Agency). The fact that he came out and said something made the 8 o'clock news. I had a meeting with him and some of his people a few days later to figure out what he wanted and what he intended to do with this. As an engineer I wanted to understand a customer's problem.

        We've had discussions with government agencies, but (they're generally not) asking us to build a product. They do that with ISPs, who then come to us.

        What other companies are going a similar route?
        We're a little bit more open than everyone else. It really wouldn't be appropriate for me to talk about other companies. It's not like we're coming out and saying, "Hey, this is the reason you should buy a Cisco router." This is something we're doing because our customers want it.

        What do you think of governments with scant respect for privacy rights using "lawful interception" technology to become more efficient eavesdroppers? Do you ever stay up late at night worrying about what they might do with it?
        Of course I do. But that problem is the reason I got involved. We have some capabilities in some of our equipment that will allow you to take all the traffic that goes across an interface and send it to another interface. Right now that is used in some cases as a lawful interception technology.

        When we first started talking, some engineers said, "Let's turn this on and use that." I said, "Heavens no, if we can narrow the range of information, let's do it." Let's let our customers meet their requirements in as privacy-protecting a way as possible. So yes, there's a conflict, but the conflict is why I got involved.

        Biography
        Declan McCullagh is CNET News.com's chief political correspondent. He spent more than a decade in Washington, D.C., chronicling the busy intersection between technology and politics. Previously, he was the Washington bureau chief for Wired News, and a reporter for Time.com, Time magazine and HotWired. McCullagh has taught journalism at American University and been an adjunct professor at Case Western University."

        declan.mccullagh@cnet.com
        http://news.cnet.com/2016-1071... [cnet.com]
        http://news.cnet.com/Perspecti... [cnet.com]
        http://www.epic.org/ [epic.org]
        http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls... [cisco.com]
        http://www.ietf.org/ [ietf.org]
        http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc28... [faqs.org]
        http://www.mccullagh.org/ [mccullagh.org]

Publicly Shelved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46293979)

Privately Continued.

No (1, Funny)

jafiwam (310805) | about 6 months ago | (#46293993)

NSA contacted them and said "Don't do that, we already did, all you are doing is stirring up negative controversy with that talk."

"Here's the URL and the credentials, have fun!

This was an attempt to legitimize (1)

Trachman (3499895) | about 6 months ago | (#46294005)

Many municipalities already have vehicles equipped with ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) equipment. Also, all toll roads (aka EZ pass) have databases of individual cars passing these roads. The logical step was to put everything to one database and to put a plate number scanning camera on every road. Currently DHS analysts have access to each and every database in the country and their problem is that they have to keep too many passwords and analysis is cumbersome. To overcome that very soon you will hear oh so well predictable story about left or right militia disgruntled member in some sort of terrorism attempt who was known to law enforcement, but because east coast database was not "talking" to the west coast database he was not caught in a timely manner. Mr Clapper stated eloquently that "they had to be upfront about mass surveilance". He is right if you want to do something unconstitutional you have to do it openly, and they tried to do it.

Re:This was an attempt to legitimize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294187)

Not just police- civilian businesses are starting to use ANPR. Repo businesses love them- just drive through a big parking lot and instantly spot cars on their hit list.

(captcha "peeper" - seems appropriate)

Re:This was an attempt to legitimize (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 6 months ago | (#46295409)

Many municipalities already have vehicles equipped with ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) equipment.

Is there any good way to block this from auto reading, but leave for human eye reading?

Could surrounding your license plate with infrared LEDs block these cameras but still make things perfectly visible to the naked eye?

Papers please comrade ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294009)

If America can't understand how truly fucked and increasingly not free they are, then that is terrible.

A bunch of cowering sheep willing to put up with stuff your founding fathers fought against as tyranny.

America is fucked, and dragging the entire world down with them.

Fuck you.

Re:Papers please comrade ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294105)

No, sir, fuck you instead.

There is nothing wrong with collecting data about what goes on in a public place with respect to a privileged activity.

Let's look at some facts, shall we?

1) There is no, none, zip, zero, zilch, expectation of privacy in a public place. PERIOD.

2) Driving is a privileged activity, for which drivers exchange some responsibilities, like putting a license plate on the outside of their car.

So, if you don't like having your licensed plate tracked by government, DON'T FUCKING DRIVE. You have no right to drive in the first place.

Re:Papers please comrade ... (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 6 months ago | (#46294227)

I could criticize you for posting something like that, but I'm sure you're only following orders.

Re:Papers please comrade ... (2)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46294403)

Why do you hate freedom to that degree? Your arguments have been debunked time and time again.

So, if you don't like having your licensed plate tracked by government, DON'T FUCKING DRIVE. You have no right to drive in the first place.

You have no right to fly on a plane, so rejoice as the TSA thugs molest you.

If the government can violate your rights simply because you choose to participate in some activity that's not strictly necessary and/or is a privilege, you have no rights; you have tyranny.

Can we stop and ask why? (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | about 6 months ago | (#46294011)

As if the privacy implications and police overreach weren't bad enough, I have been feeling more and more frustrated over the financial aspect of programs like these. Who decided that this program was good or desirable in the first place? We've been getting along fine for a long time now without a national database of license-plate scans.

The same can be said for many other surveillance and technology initiatives by police and government agencies. These programs cost vast amounts of money which could be used for cancer research, or schools, or bridge repairs, or space exploration, or countless other positive things. Alternatively, just give the money back to the taxpayers and let them put it to good use. I'm pretty sure that only a tiny percentage of people would volunteer to fund programs like these out of their own pockets.

Cheap and Easy (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 6 months ago | (#46294083)

As if the privacy implications and police overreach weren't bad enough, I have been feeling more and more frustrated over the financial aspect of programs like these. Who decided that this program was good or desirable in the first place? We've been getting along fine for a long time now without a national database of license-plate scans.

The same can be said for many other surveillance and technology initiatives by police and government agencies. These programs cost vast amounts of money which could be used for cancer research, or schools, or bridge repairs, or space exploration, or countless other positive things. Alternatively, just give the money back to the taxpayers and let them put it to good use. I'm pretty sure that only a tiny percentage of people would volunteer to fund programs like these out of their own pockets.

A program like this is relatively cheap and easy. I would expect it is already in place on a smaller level in a lot of municipalities (and certainly in DC). ICE probably withdrew it because they were afraid, in the current climate, that a legal challenge might (barely) succeed and threaten all of those prorams.

The benefits to the program are also substantial--it gives you a lot of information for law enforcement *and* for anti-terrorism. They can use that to investigate crimes (who was in area X) (if you said your alibi was Y, why were you driving the other way?). If your goal is to prevent crime and to make investigation in the aftermath of an attack easier, you want this.

It does, obviously, come at a privacy cost. But realistically, we're already living with it, and they're not going to stop unless a court orders them to--which is somewhat unlikely.

Re:Cheap and Easy (2)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 6 months ago | (#46295087)

They can use that to investigate crimes (who was in area X) (if you said your alibi was Y, why were you driving the other way?). If your goal is to prevent crime and to make investigation in the aftermath of an attack easier, you want this.

It does, obviously, come at a privacy cost. But realistically, we're already living with it, and they're not going to stop unless a court orders them to--which is somewhat unlikely.

Sure, and it would be easier to solve crimes if every citizen had a chip implanted that would track all their movements and record everything they do. To some people, freedom is a lot more important than solving every crime or "feeling safe" from terrorists. Unfortunately, the American people as a whole do not feel that way. They welcome more government survellience, take a look at polls conducted after the Snowden revelations - the majority doesn't see a problem with it because they think the NSA is making them safe from terrorism. One's chances of being injured or killed in a terrorist attack are very low but we spend billions and billions of dollars to fight this near non-existent threat. For the price we are paying for DHS we could do things that would actually make people safer instead of just making them feel safer.

Re:Can we stop and ask why? (2)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 6 months ago | (#46294205)

We've been getting along fine for a long time now without a national database of license-plate scans.

Have we? Have we really? You think Iraqi and Afghani terrorists flying commercial jetliners into skyscrapers and federal buildings is "fine"? You think jihadis smuggling weapons of mass destruction onto airplanes in their shoes and their underwear is "fine"?

You, citizen, are the reason this great nation is crumbling before the henchmen of Allah! Why do you hate America so much?

[Disclaimer: It's satire. Save yourself the whoosh.]

Re:Can we stop and ask why? (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 6 months ago | (#46294501)

I think the reasoning goes like this:
Step 1: Have contractor establish a searchable database of license plates, with the times and locations where they were spotted by traffic cameras and other sources.
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Contractor profit (and kickbacks)!

Lessons of trust (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 6 months ago | (#46294019)

If one thing the Edward Snowden releases have shown, is if the authorities are telling you they plan to do something, they are probably already doing it.

Re:Lessons of trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294099)

If one thing the Edward Snowden releases have shown is, if the authorities are telling you they are not doing something, have never done something, or do not plan to do something in the future, then they are certainly already doing it.

FTFY.

Re:Lessons of trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46295221)

Indeed...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2014/02/20/nova-legislators-stunned-by-license-plate-data-collection-form-privacy-caucus/

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_23682448/police-cameras-track-millions-license-plates-compile-databases ...etc...

Police already doing this... (1)

GoChickenFat (743372) | about 6 months ago | (#46294025)

I caught an unmarked "police" car methodically casing our office complex parking lot. I happed to walk right by as he entered a dead end area of our parking lot. He had a laptop and there were four rectangle boxes mounted on the trunk with lenses pointing outward. Our security group confirmed from videos that they cased our lot as well as nearby businesses. So, at what point is this trespassing? We didn't invite law enforcement on to our lot to collect data. We now know it was the local police department and they've since added these readers to several marked vehicles and have stationed them alongside roadways collecting data. They've recently been sued over refusal to release information under state sunshine laws but I doubt that will stop them. We now have several police departments in the metro area using this. What next? Will they be installed on stop lights right next to the red light cameras?

Every vehicle entering NYC (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 6 months ago | (#46294125)

I caught an unmarked "police" car methodically casing our office complex parking lot. I happed to walk right by as he entered a dead end area of our parking lot. He had a laptop and there were four rectangle boxes mounted on the trunk with lenses pointing outward. Our security group confirmed from videos that they cased our lot as well as nearby businesses. So, at what point is this trespassing? We didn't invite law enforcement on to our lot to collect data. We now know it was the local police department and they've since added these readers to several marked vehicles and have stationed them alongside roadways collecting data. They've recently been sued over refusal to release information under state sunshine laws but I doubt that will stop them. We now have several police departments in the metro area using this. What next? Will they be installed on stop lights right next to the red light cameras?

1. It usually becomes trespassing if someone with authority asks them to leave and they don't, although it varies based on state law.

2. You can, however, sue them for violating four fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable search. I don't know that you would win, but if it's a private parking lot, you might.

3. They already use these on the West Side Highway as a pilot program for fully automated tolls. Everyone either has EZ-pass or gets billed through the mail based on their license plate. My guess is they're imaging every license plate on all of the entries to NYC (if not, they certainly will be within a little while).

Re: Police already doing this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294167)

Put a gate on your lot to make it private and give everybody key cards.

Re:Police already doing this... (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | about 6 months ago | (#46295401)

Back-into the parking space so your lic plate is not facing out. At least make the cop get up out of his car to get your info.

canada placed in protective custody (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294033)

the leafers have opted to have alanis morrissette appointed temporary custodian of citizen defense (from the zionoc crown royals) policies

Confessions Of an Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294041)

Day 1: It wouldn't stop, the redirecting. At first I thought it was malware. Had my first drink in a long time.

Day 2: Barely had the strength to carry on as the BETA REDIRECTIONS continue.. trying not to talk to hallucinations at the bar and in the bathroom which laugh at me about these redirections.

Day 3: Discovered the BETA redirections were random, and while at first they looked somewhat usable, when I looked at me and my monitor screen in the mirror, a horrible woman with flesh hanging off of her body looked back, trying to lead me into a dance as the word BETA appeared across her rancid breasts.

Day 4: These BETA corridors go on FOREVER! On the plus side, I've taken up disassembling vehicles to corner this BETA beast and sacrifice myself rather than lead others to discovering it. I ate some red snow.

Day 5: Finding it harder to concentrate. I've ate some more of the red snow. The taste is starting to grow on me.

Day 6: This typewriter is the only entertainment I have, apart from throwing things at the walls, trying to get some response from the BETA which is now taking over my mind.

Day 7: Hahahahahha! Would you believe it? I'M STILL BEING REDIRECTED TO SLASHDOT BETA PAGES! AHAHhahahaah! Type, type, ding, ding! Wooo!

Day 8: The hallucinations are actually real! Would you believe it? They have offered to help me if I agree to work for them. I'm thinking about patenting this delicious red snow, the taste is unreal!

Day 9: Having black out sessions where I cannot remember large passings of time. Found some makeup, thought I'd paint a joker smile on my face to amuse the people only I can see!

Day 10: Productive today, part of what I wrote for my new screenplay:

I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slashdot BETA!
I cannot opt out of Slas

(drops of blood on paper)

Perfectlly legal and proper (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294085)

You have no expectation of privacy in a public place, and there is no right to drive, so requiring you wear a license plate on your car is perfectly legit.

Re:Perfectlly legal and proper (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46294541)

Read the numerous comments above that debunk your shortsighted, freedom-hating nonsense.

In related news... (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 6 months ago | (#46294113)

Citizens group officials on Wednesday abruptly shelved a proposal to overthrow the federal government after government officials displayed a modicum of sanity. The proposal, which had been posted online last week by irate individuals, sought a contractor who could establish a government of the people, founded upon a belief in certain inalienable rights. But in a statement late Wednesday, the group announced a reversal. 'The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of group leadership, has been canceled,' said spokeswoman Anonymous Coward. 'While we continue to support a range of activities to help meet our freedom-promoting mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.'

[Satire] [Please don't arrest and/or extraordinarily render me] [I'd post anonymously but I'm not sure if that's even possible in a post-9/11 world]

I call Bullshit (3, Interesting)

kjhambrick (111698) | about 6 months ago | (#46294119)

'The solicitation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been canceled,' said spokeswoman Gillian Christensen.

Like anyone would truly believe an underling could solicit such a bid without direction from the ICE leadership.

The bastards are out of control.

-- kjh

What? The ICE has licence plates? ... That's news. (0)

Qbertino (265505) | about 6 months ago | (#46294237)

I didn't know the ICE [bahngalerie.de] had licence plates.

Anyway, I'm all for tracking those, if it helps them being more punctual.
Then again, you'd expect Deutsche Bahn to know where all their ICEs are at any given time, no? ... :-)

Re:What? The ICE has licence plates? ... That's ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294407)

Slashdot is a US website. Learn to filter the US news bias.

Form a protective perimeter. Now... abooout-FACE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294243)

It's a good thing these tools against foreign aggressors
are so effective at protecting our citizenry from itself!

Looks like they're going to have to stick with the v1.0 system they already have for license plate tracking.

Duh - Not Private (-1, Troll)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 6 months ago | (#46294269)

The very purpose of a license plate is to make public the identity of a specific vehicle. Trying to say that govenrment or anyone else can not keep records of where a plate is noticed is absurd. My wife, my teenage kids, or an employee just might be driving that car. It does not track the owner at all. The tag identifies the car and not the driver. Worse yet one doesn't even need a plate unless one uses the vehicle on a public road. So just what element is private about a plate openly displayed in public. If I notice a suspicious vehicle can i write down the plate number just in case something happens? The privacy nuts get way over the edge these days.

Re:Duh - Not Private (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46294379)

So just what element is private about a plate openly displayed in public

What's private is the history of where that plate has been - tracking a person's car without a warrant is illegal, per the SCOTUS. [washingtonpost.com]

Shit, man, in these days of parallel construction [wikipedia.org] it amazes me I have to respond to questions like this...

Re:Duh - Not Private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294461)

This case established that police can not electronically track a vehicle by a secretly installed GPS device without a warrant. To date, an officer is still allowed to monitor a vehicle operating on the public roadways.

Re:Duh - Not Private (2)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46294451)

The very purpose of a license plate is to make public the identity of a specific vehicle. Trying to say that govenrment or anyone else can not keep records of where a plate is noticed is absurd.

Bullshit, once again. You government drones need to think for yourselves. It is not absurd to say that while it is possible for people to see you in public places, the government shouldn't be installing surveillance equipment everywhere. The latter is what people want to be free from.

It does not track the owner at all. The tag identifies the car and not the driver.

But it tracks the car, which is bad enough. In my case, it would be more than enough to track me.

Worse yet one doesn't even need a plate unless one uses the vehicle on a public road.

Which nearly everyone does. A moot point.

So just what element is private about a plate openly displayed in public.

The part where we step up and demand that the government not install surveillance equipment in public places, which is a far cry from someone merely seeing you.

If I notice a suspicious vehicle can i write down the plate number just in case something happens?

Can your worthless little mind not comprehend the difference between surveillance equipment that belongs to a single source recording everything automatically and someone writing something down? Really? And you're on Slashdot? Vanish!

The privacy nuts get way over the edge these days.

No, you government drones go way over the edge. You are literally making this country worse. We have people like you to thank for the TSA, the NSA spying, stop-and-frisk, free speech zones, constitution-free zones, DUI checkpoints, and the hundreds of other small ways the government is violating our rights. Get rid of your trust for the government. Get rid of your desire to justify everything the government does.

Re:Duh - Not Private (2)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 6 months ago | (#46294967)

Yes, license plates are for identifying cars. The 4th Amendment, however, was preserved due to the sheer volume of cars out there. A government official (police, FBI, etc.) had to "manually" focus on a single car at a time when there was a reason to pay attention to it. The extra work required to track too many people at once protected the 4th amendment.

Today's tech, however, can now passively track everyone with no effort - which blows away that illusory wall between the 4th amendment and license plate tracking. The moment some government official decides that they're a "person of interest" (whatever that means to that official at that time), they have a practically infinite amount of data to use against them already.

Why am I a "privacy nut" for seeing this problem and talking about it?

More importantly, why are you not concerned with this overreach?

Privacy nuts are usually branded as paranoid against the government, but I submit that people who call us "privacy nuts" have their own deep seated and subtle paranoia of their neighbors. If one really thinks about it, why else would one allow the government to track everyone everywhere in their cars if they weren't worried about some "what if" scenario where the guy next door could be "evil" and could hurt them?

I call bullshit (2)

fred911 (83970) | about 6 months ago | (#46294287)

What they really shelved was the public acknowledgement of the desire for the program, I doubt they shelved the plans.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46294385)

What they really shelved was the public acknowledgement of the desire for the program, I doubt they shelved the plans.

This.

When the government says, "OK, we're going to stop doing this program you're pissed about," what they really mean is "OK, we're going to stop doing this program that you're pissed about... openly."

The proof is in the COINTELPRO.

"shelved" (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46294341)

Yeah, right. They just figure it's easier to do this clandestinely.

Re:"shelved" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294711)

I had at one point in my life spec'd out a system that could do exactly this. I killed the project when the managers became more interested in targeted advertising than helping people. Building is not actually all that hard. It is just a matter of cash and having good enough cameras everywhere to do it and the hard drive to back it up. The OCR tech wasn't even as good as it is now but was fully capable of picking off plates especially from stationary objects.

Sure this sort of system will end up happening. It will be used for abuse by those in power. More likely it will be used to drill messages at your cell phone about the "SUPER GOOD DEAL 2 EXITS AWAY!!!!! DONT MISS OUT ON A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY"

I wanted to build it to create super hyper realistic 3d maps (which you can get if all vehicles have cameras too). My managers wanted to use it to sell to police and advertisers. Booooring. So I laid out the cost and then doubled it. Their eyes bugged out and it was quietly killed.

My new bumper sticker... (1)

MiniMike (234881) | about 6 months ago | (#46294421)

I'm gong to get a new bumper sticker which will read:

4TH AMD"); DROP TABLE PlateScans;

oblig ref [xkcd.com]

Proper Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294479)

"Unfortunately, a newly promoted mid-manager didn't force an NDA with this project proposal, and some idiot sub-contractor decided to announce our intentions to the web. When we introduce it again, after that mid-manager gets promoted, none of you will hear about it in the future!"

1984 and Snowcrash weren't F*#$ing how to manuals! This is insane!

ICE (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46294531)

So they (would of) only be tracking Internal Combustion Engine powered vehicles? Thats a good for the Tesla, Volt and Leaf owners...

Re:ICE (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 6 months ago | (#46295399)

Volts have an ICE so they don't get off easy.

Translation: (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 6 months ago | (#46294853)

..this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs.

Translation: "We'll put this aside for now because you caught us out and pitched a fit about it like the little criminals we believe you all to be, and we'll wait until you inevitably forget about it, then we'll re-word it, hide it in some other, completely unassociated legislation, where it'll be voted on in the middle of the night and passed, then signed into law quietly without so much as a whisper from the media."

Quit giving this government tax money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46294913)

It's obviously being used against you.

Quit supporting candidates who want a "fair tax" that they can "invest".

Because THIS is the crap they want to "invest" in.

In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46295289)

In other words it's being classified and will be exploited by the NSA to further violate the 4th Amendment rights of legal US Citizens they couldn't otherwise prosecute if the time came. "Good Old Fashion" Police work my ass.

Back to Plan A (1)

dacullen (1666965) | about 6 months ago | (#46295297)

Install backdoors in the existing ALPR databases so that they can download the data secretly and without any legal oversight.

This isn't for stolen cars (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 6 months ago | (#46295363)

There was a story not more than a few weeks/months ago where a local law enforcement agency had ignored the license plates of stolen cars they'd scanned. This is nothing more than another data point for the government's Total Information Awareness database.

The only way to make this stuff illegal is to pass laws expressly forbidding it. The Feds have been using cute interpretations of privacy laws to pull this crap; with a wink and nod from Congress.

I see lots of outrage on this website; I wonder how much there is in the general population. Either they're not aware or they don't care and from polls I've seen on the Snowden revelations I assume the latter.

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